It can get frosty while you’re shopping for your loved ones. Nothing warms your body and stokes the spirit of the season like a spot of hot tea between trips to the store. Take a moment out of the madness to enjoy a Japanese-style ceremony or a Victorian High Tea with your little elves. Read on for our top picks for the holiday season.
With two tasting rooms in the Portland area, there's plenty of time and space to enjoy a hot cup of tea any time of the year. But on Dec. 7, you and your kiddos can get in on a complimentary tasting of Smith Teamaker's new featured seasonal drinks: Hot Buttered Silent Night Latte and Morning Light Latte. The tasting takes place at the NW shop from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. The shop has a variety of decaf options for the littles to enjoy and you are sure to leave brimming with good cheer.
1626 NW Thurman St.
110 SE Washington St.
Tao of Tea
It's been around for over 20 years, which has given the Tao of Tea plenty of time to perfect its offerings of delicious tea served in beautiful settings. Tea service comes in gorgeous clay or iron pots, with explanations of when and how to drink, along with plenty of snacks and light meals. The original Belmont location is cozy, with wooden benches and luscious tapestries—a perfect fit for the mood of the season. Or visit their cafe inside the Lan Su Chinese Gardens, which bears the poetic name, “The Tower of Cosmic Reflections,” so have your kids reflect on how much they love you as they enjoy their tea and mooncakes.
3430 SE Belmont St.
Within the Lan Su Chinese Garden – Garden Admission Applies
239 NW Everett St
While this little slice of France in Portland is amazing year-round, Pix offers a formal holiday tea time from Dec. 15-Jan. 1. It is served daily between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and the menu includes a pot of tea from Townshend’s Tea House and a selection of 14 sweet and savory bite sized treats – think French macarons and mini éclairs, quail eggs in prosciutto and salmon tea sandwiches, and thick, indulgent chocolat chaud!
Reservations are required and must be made 48 hours in advance.
$38 per person
Holiday Tea Daily, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
2225 E. Burnside St.
Behind the Museum Cafe
The Portland Art Museum is hiding a real treat inside it’s doors! The Japanese-inspired teahouse serves a large menu of tea including Genmaicha, Sencha, and a lovely Matcha latte. If you take advantage of Baby Mornings on First Thursday, or Family Tours every Sunday, you can take a break to rest your museum-legs after art-gazing. No admission ticket is necessary for a spot of tea, so stop by the cafe anytime (but remember, kids under 17 are always free at the museum!).
1229 SW 10th Ave.
Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium
It’s time for High Tea! This tea room is decorated in Neo-Victorian Steampunk fashion with anachronistic and retro-future technologies (think H.G. Wells and Jules Verne). Check out the giant dirigible floating above you! Make reservations for high tea or walk in anytime for a smaller menu featuring items like tea sandwiches, scones, clotted cream and always, a large pot of tea. They encourage people to dress up, so get your kids to go in steampunk costumes with you (quick, before they’re embarrassed pre-teens!)
12412 SW Broadway St.
This teahouse is almost ubiquitous with four locations across the city, but no one’s complaining. A huge variety of delicious teas await, like the Sticky Rice Pu-erh, which smells like toasted rice! They have plenty of non-caffeinated herbal choices like the Forest Park blend with real berries, or the Big Sky blend with cacao nibs. Kids will love the smelling bar, where you can open a small jar of any flavor to get a sense for it. It's possible choosing might take awhile with over 70 blends, so find a comfy couch and relax.
2223 NE Alberta St.
3531 SE Division St.
3917 N Mississippi Ave.
7940 SE Stark St.
Tea Chai Té
A college project turned wild success, Tea Chai Té serves award-winning specialty teas along with kombucha, unique chai blends, tasty treats, and their totally photogenic (and super tasty!) bubble teas. Perhaps the best location is in Sellwood, located inside the historic red Caboose (once a bookstore). A surprisingly large amount of seating is inside, so don’t be shy!
7983 SE 13th Ave.
Fly Awake PDX
This special spot blends and serves their tea out of a secret garden. Hidden away just off Mississippi Avenue, there’s a 2-story indoor and outdoor space for all seasons. Enjoy teapots for one or two people in a wide variety of blends covering Puer, white, oolong, and herbal. Or check out their seasonal specials like Elderberry cordial or the herbal blend featuring rose, cedar, chamomile, and more. And don’t miss the fresh chai, “made like your Indian grandma.”
3514 NE 13th Ave
featured photo: Tea Chai Te vi FB
—Katrina Emery & Annette Benedetti